Rules? How quaint

This is how “representative” our governments now are: apparently you no longer have to actually, you know, LIVE in the district you’re running to represent:

Democrat Jon Ossoff dismissed concerns Tuesday over the fact that he doesn’t live in the Georgia congressional district in which he’s running for a House seat.

“I grew up in this district; I grew up in this community — it’s my home. My family is still there,” Ossoff said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

If having family in a district is enough to be a candidate, most people would have plenty of options to run.  That’s not how it works, though.  And no, I don’t care that he’s “10 minutes up the road,” and just living there to “support his girlfriend in medical school.”

At least Hillary Clinton had the decency to move to New York and pretend to become a New Yorker before running for the Senate.  (I’m pretty sure she’d have never achieved that in Arkansas.)

Either a rule is enforced, or it’s not a rule.   This is yet another example of how we are no longer a nation of laws.  And that’s not going to end well for anybody, no matter what short-term advantages someone thinks they see.

On a related note, it’s nice to see people reminding Congress they have to live with the laws they pass.  And on this particular issue, it’s about time the rules were applied. Vigorously.

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Rotting from the head

Today’s USA Today editorial by the Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds) is a must-read.  Excerpt:

“…people may obey the law because they think that being law-abiding is an important part of maintaining a viable society. But that’s the kind of law-abiding behavior that’s at risk when people at the top treat the law with unconcealed contempt.
Being law-abiding for its own sake is a traditional part of bourgeois culture, and our ruling class has lately treated the bourgeoisie with contempt as well. Which raises the risk that this contempt will be returned.”

 

These days, to be in contempt of Congress shouldn’t be considered a legal state so much as a badge of honor that one is in tune with reality.  Only Congress has the tools at its disposal to rein in these out of control government agencies like the IRS, TSA, EPA, etc.  For instance, agencies that suffer “accidental” deletions of key evidence should find their funding zeroed out and the agency abolished on the grounds it can no longer be trusted with public business.  That Congress refuses to use such tools merely shows they are no longer the “people’s house,” but rather, in the words of a very wise man, “a den of thieves.”

Blood on their hands

Up front, I’ll note I’m not a fan of Donald Trump.  That said, the concerted reaction to his recent remarks about illegal immigration should be interpreted as a sign that “open borders” advocates realize truth is being told for a change.  For all their talk of compassion, and emotional appeals to images of people just “trying to find a better life,” the reality of illegal immigration all too often includes this:

California woman shot dead at random by illegal immigrant with five prior deportations

More than 100 Citizens of North Carolina Have Been Killed By Illegal Aliens

Illegal immigrant deported 6 times charged in felony hit and run

Illegal immigrants, previously deported six times, kill off-duty Border Patrol agent

Three-Times Deported Illegal Alien Kills Sportscaster In Oklahoma

“Dreamer” convicted of killing two girls spared deportation under Obama amnesty

Our Declaration of Independence says that government exists to protect the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (i.e. the rights to our justly acquired property).  We spend more on “national defense” than the next couple dozen nations combined, and the Federal Government seems determined to create a domestic Panopticon.  Yet we continue to have one of the most porous borders in the world.  That is not an accident.  What’s worse is that a lack of sustained seriousness about this at the national level has encouraged utopianist bleeding hearts at the state and local level to become active accomplices in the process of illegal immigration.  There is no other appropriate term for the now-common practice of declaring “sanctuary cities” that openly state they will not enforce immigration law, or of issuing drivers licenses (a process that should clearly reveal who does not have the privilege of residing in the U.S.).

These policies are DIRECTLY responsible for the death of 32-year-old Kathryn “Kate” Steinle and countless other Americans.  The blood of these victims is on the hands of those who refuse to enforce border security.  Those who blindly follow the emotional appeals of the open invasion borders crowd would do well to remember that charity starts at home, and nothing is more charitable than ensuring one’s fellow citizens are not killed by people who have no right to be here.

As Matt Walsh commented: “Nations that care about their culture, their future, and the safety of their citizens treat immigration with the sort of rigorous, mature, serious scrutiny it requires. But in this country, which is apparently being run by preschoolers in Velcro shoes, we toss law, order, rationality, borders, national security, human life, truth, and assimilation to the side on the grounds that the murderer sorting through your garbage might have happy dreams.”

This issue is but one example of the selective lawlessness and lack of concern for the plight of the average American citizen now displayed by the Federal Government — and by all too many “blue” states and communities as well.  As Bill O’Reilly (another person I’m not particularly fond of) said, the slaying of Kate Steinle by someone deported five previous times, and the failures this represents should shame Congress into action.  Considering the shamelessness of Congress as an institution today, I’m not holding my breath.

When any government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”

Why ‘reform’ is well-nigh impossible

By now, most people have figured out ‘the system’ is falling apart.  Plenty of plans, schemes and dreams are being offered up as remedies.

I encourage you to read this response to the idea of calling a Constitutional Convention:

The problem is that this “remedy” isn’t a remedy and if it comes to pass what you want won’t happen.

I know this for a fact and, if you think about it, so do you.

I know what you’re going to say: How can you be so sure?

It’s simple: There is nothing wrong with the Constitution as it sits now.  The problem is that it’s not followed…

…All of this game-playing in the judiciary rests on the thinnest of foundation; so-called judicial comity and stare decisis.  That is, the premise that once a decision is made even if blatantly unconstitutional, it is thereafter the foundation of everything that follows and reciprocity and recognition is owed against that (blatantly unlawful) decision.

You can’t fix this with a ConCon or with “more Amendments” because they are subject to the same “interpretation” as has been all of the previous; the only solution is to unwind the previous violence done to the Constitution and then, if appropriate, pass Amendments that further constrain the rights protected by and powers delegated therein.

In other words, we live in a time of lawlessness and a lack of respect for what should be clear boundaries.  No tinkering around with written documents will affect that until there is a change in heart for those who will live within (and lead) such a system.  When the Founding generation is discussed today, it’s often a strange combination of trying to tear them down, while simultaneously decrying their “puritanism.”  OK, fine: let’s acknowledge their generation was no more “perfect” than any other human generation.  But they had something we now mock:

…a common standard to strive for.  That alone conveys much.

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes…”  Judges 17:6

In such a social condition, where nobody recognizes any higher authority over them, the ‘law’ is no protection.  It is merely a weapon of self-justification in the hands of those enabled to wield it.

Today’s summary

Victor Davis Hanson sometimes tends to favor a more activist/interventionist foreign policy (particularly use of the military) than I do, but he is an astute observer of the decline of Western Civilization and its signature institutionsHis summary today of “The summer America fell apart” is a worthwhile review.  As he puts it, “The scandals now come so fast and furiously that we no sooner hear of one than yet another new mess makes us forget it.”

Some parties are counting on that to feed into America’s Attention Deficit Disorder.  Which is why, regardless who is responsible for shooting down a civilian airliner that had no business flying the route it was flying (why isn’t THAT question being asked more?), the public needs to make sure it doesn’t thoughtlessly engage in another anti-Russian Two Minutes’ Hate that causes us to forget what our officials are doing (or not doing, in the case of border enforcement) at home.

Foreign crises are often the last refuge of domestic scoundrels.  As we get ever closer to the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, we’d do well to keep that in mind.

Flood stage

I’m but one of a chorus of voices over the last several years warning of the rising tides breaking down American society.  Even with eight-plus years of doing this, I have to say that as I look around me these days, it is difficult to want to comment.  I believe the tipping point is in the rear view mirror, and what lies ahead is merely the consequences of our failure to confront issues long before now.  These may take a little time still to fully manifest, but there is no longer any question they’re coming.  This assessment (along with a ridiculously crowded personal to-do list of late) has contributed to a slowing down in posts to this site.  At some point even those of us who care deeply about this land have to pose the infamous question “what difference, at this point, does it make?”  As passionate as I am about the principles on which this venture was successfully founded, I realize I’m just a “voice in the wilderness,” and there are few who want to listen.  Those who can read the signs and portents have done so, and are doing whatever due diligence they believe appropriate.  In the case of some close relatives, I’ve recently learned that includes emigrating to another country.  For good.

I’ve done research on what the options might be if the Musketeers, their Mom and I felt we had to leave.  And I’ve been aware in recent years there are a growing number of Americans who are saying goodbye to Uncle Sam–not only emigrating but renouncing their citizenship as a personal declaration of independence.  With this recent revelation, that’s no longer an abstract concept.  It’s difficult to describe the sadness of realizing where we are as a society.  Geographically, there is still a country called “the United States.”  The nation of “America,” however, is all but dead, carved deliberately into competing factions whose collective rejection of the founding principles of limited government, personal liberty/responsibility and the rule of law only serves the puppetmasters in the boardrooms and the Beltway.  For those who have “eyes to see,” the future is here: lawlessness, decay and the increasingly heavy lash of the State.  We have forgotten the lessons of history, and if  you think college tuition is out of control wait till you see the cost of this remedial course.

As the nation enters its death throes, is it any surprise the vultures have descended en masseThe word is out around the world: the defenses are down, and now is the time to come pick the carcass, before there is nothing left.  Our leaders seem only too eager to encourage that, as it benefits them politically.

Even for a Monday, this is a somber reflection.  But it is borne of grief, not despair.  This is when an eternal perspective makes all the difference.  Nations rise and fall, and have done so throughout history.  Truth, however, and the principles that derive from it, endure.  They may be lost for a time to abandonment or neglect, but they remain nonetheless.  Generations may suffer for ignorance of them, but they are always there to be reclaimed and reapplied by those willing to acknowledge their authority.

But first, as the name of this site conveys, one has to admit one is on a wrong road before one can switch to the correct one.  Regardless whether a nation does this or not, every individual retains this choice — and the promise that repentance will be honored.

 

A refrain with these people

Harry Reid channels his inner Hillary over the Bergdahl-Talian swap:

A reporter asked, “How come it seems that you were the only one who got a heads-up the day before?”

Senate majority leader Reid answered, “Im not sure I’m the only one.  I mean, this is making a big deal over nothing.  The whole deal, is it Friday or Saturday?  What difference does it make?  What difference does it make?”

I suppose if he’d gone for more than a sound bite echo of Her Hillariness, Reid might have tried to explain how a law requiring notification of Congress prior to releasing any detainees at Guantanamo is really just a suggestion.  But when our nation’s leaders treat Constitutional and statutory law like many citizens treat speed limits, there’s a real problem.

NO INCUMBENTS, PLEASE in 2014!